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The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

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Epilepsy awareness oversight

Park fails to recognize epilepsy awareness month
Seizure+awareness+card+sits+on+the+front+desk+of+Parks+nurses+office+Dec.+7.+Park+lacks+representation+of+epilepsy+awareness.
Gabby Fadden
Seizure awareness card sits on the front desk of Park’s nurses office Dec. 7. Park lacks representation of epilepsy awareness.

As Nov. came to an end, so did National Epilepsy Awareness Month. Though Nov. is nationally recognized as epilepsy awareness month, Park did not recognize this month to the student body this year. 

According to senior Oliver Tadewald, a student with epilepsy, Park not recognizing this month had a negative effect on him. 

“The lack of attention to this month made me feel terrible,” Tadewald said. “It just felt like I wasn’t being shown love from Park and that they didn’t care enough about epilepsy.”

Senior Karl Nelson, who deals with epilepsy, said epilepsy is not uncommon. He said that with Parks’ lack of emphasis the past month, not many know about it. 

“A lot of people don’t even know that epilepsy month is a thing, which is frustrating. There are so many people who have epilepsy, even at our school,” Nelson said. “Every day, more people get diagnosed. Friends, family and loved ones.“

School nurse Katy Edstron said even if people do not realize it, by not talking about epilepsy and similar conditions, affected people often feel a stigma towards them that can significantly lower their well-being.

“The reason it is very important to talk about epilepsy is that people with epilepsy may experience stigma,” Edstron said. “This can lead to shame and fear of discrimination, and can reduce the quality of life.”

Tadewald said although it was upsetting that Park didn’t recognize this past month, it was unfortunately not a surprise.

“I wasn’t surprised that I didn’t see anything about it this month,” Tadewald said. “I haven’t ever seen anything in the past so I didn’t expect much.”

Nelson said there are several things he would like to see Park doing to recognize the month, and that other important times are given recognition that Nov. deserved. 

“I would at least like to see (the school put) out something on a bulletin board, maybe even a poster on the wall,” Nelson said. “It would be nice if we could paint the mural that we paint for other important times.” 

Edstron said that a potential resource for Park to recognize epilepsy awareness month next year could be to invite a nurse to a staff meeting to educate the staff and to talk about it in connections classes to educate the students. 

“At staff meetings, doing a 10-minute session to talk about epilepsy and educate our staff about it could be an option,” Edstron said. “I know they educate about different things in Park connections and recognizing it there and actually having conversations with students could be another option.”

According to Nelson, there was an overwhelming amount of disappointment in Park for how this month was handled.

“The lack of attention to this month has made me feel sad as well as disappointed in our community,” Nelson said. “I think they’ve really let me down.” 

Principal LaNisha Paddock said that if students have interest in raising awareness for epilepsy awareness month or want to raise awareness for something else, the steps for doing so are simple.

“We have an advisory committee of our Park Pride that also does all the stuff that happens in connections,” Paddock said. “I think it would be more valuable if it was brought to our attention and led by students and that would be the perfect place to put that request.”

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About the Contributors
Thomas Halverson, Echo Staffer
Hi, I’m Thomas Halverson. I am a junior here at St. Louis Park High School. This year I am a varsity runner on the cross country team, varsity tennis player and junior varsity basketball player. I am super excited to be a part of the echo team this year!
Maya Nieves, Multimedia Editor
Hiii! My name is Maya Nieves and I'm this year's news editor. I'm a Junior and this is my second year on Echo. In my free time I enjoy backpacking, reading, and playing ultimate. I also LOVE old rom coms, music and pasta. I'm really excited to work with everyone and meet more people through Echo!
Gabby Fadden, Echo Staffer
My name is Gabby and I am a sophomore. This is my first year on Echo. I like to play sports and a fun fact about me is that I have 3 dogs. 

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